Manoeuvring your self-drive boat: first steps

Steering a boat for the first time might seem frightening. But as Florence Menguy, Operations Director at Locaboat, explains, all new skippers are shown the ropes from A-Z before they are put in charge of their Penichette®.

When you come to collect your self-drive boat, don’t panic – we won’t let you set off until we’re sure you know what you’re doing!

First of all, before you start your trip you’ll be provided with a checklist that tells you all the things you need to know, along with basic steering instructions. When you arrive at the base, a Locaboat technician will take you through all the manoeuvres and navigation skills you need to control a self-drive boat. You’ll go over your boat together and look at the different areas: the outside deck, the interior layout, and most of all, how easy it is to take control. You’ll be shown what to do with the mooring ropes, how to navigate a lock, and you’ll take the helm and carry out a few small manoeuvres: setting off, stopping, setting off again, leaving the quayside, manoeuvring in a straight line, and most important of all, turning round and coming back to the pontoon. Then you’ll have a quick lesson on using the deck fillers for the water and fuel tanks. There’s nothing complicated about that, either.

When you’ve completed the practical induction, you’ll be taken round the boat again with your checklist to make sure that you’ve fully grasped all the technical points, and the team will answer any final questions you may have.

Half an hour later you and your crew should be ready to set off and thoroughly enjoy your holiday. And don’t worry, our helpline is available seven days a week. Taste your freedom!

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